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Old 10-31-2015, 05:46 AM   #1
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First time snow birds from Wisconsin, suggestions on where to go please

Hi, first, thanks for any suggestions! My wife and I will leave east-central WI in January. We want to go where the weather is above freezing and not come back home until the end of March. We have a class A and will pull our car.

We may have to hotel it the first couple nights until we get far enough south that we can fill and use the water systems.

We like to hike and bike and sightseeing.

So far it seems the choice is southern Florida or Texas along the RGV. Arizona is 1,800 miles away so we would not want to just drive a full week to get there.

Any suggested routes that would keep us warm for a few months are welcomed!

David T
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Old 10-31-2015, 06:42 AM   #2
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It looks like it would be Fl. But depending how far south you want to go in Fl., I would be calling to make reservations. I'm sure the snowbird migration is well underway.

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Old 10-31-2015, 06:43 AM   #3
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I think it may depend if you just want to go park somewhere or see the great sights of our country. We have done Florida several times, Florida is very commercial and crowded as we see it. We are travelers so we don't go somewhere and stay for the winter. Last year we departed Ohio in January and did not return until May 1. Our journey took us to the southwest for the winter. We enjoyed it so much we will be going back to the southwest again to take in all the sights. Last year we did about 7000 over the 4 months and saw so much. The weather was great the entire time we were gone and not crowded. Just my thoughts.
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Old 10-31-2015, 06:49 AM   #4
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I live in Florida [now] and I can tell you it is very crowded in the winter months. Snowbirds have been arriving, over the last month and will it will be difficult to find a spot to park. It will also be expensive.

If I were in your situation, I believe I would opt for he southwestern route and meander through the western states until spring.

Good luck in your journey and after living in Chicago, I understand your need to "Escape".
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Old 10-31-2015, 06:57 AM   #5
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Greetings from fellow Wisconsin "snow birds".

Any of the states along the southern border will be much warmer than Wisconsin, but if you want to count on shorts and t-shirt weather, somewhere south of I-4 in Florida is your best bet. Going that far south, you should have reservations already, or start making them immediately. Spaces really start to fill in after the Christmas holiday.

If you're not looking for 80 degree days, anywhere along the gulf coast is beautiful. We especially like the Florida panhandle, anywhere from Pensacola Beach to Destin. As it is their off season rates are very reasonable and you should still be able to get long term accommodations. While you may not see 80 degrees very often, you won't see any freezes either right on the coast. The Alabama coastal area is also popular with snowbirds.
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Old 10-31-2015, 07:12 AM   #6
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our favorite place Tucson Az. We live in St Louis area right after Xmas we get on the road and toward Tucson and head back first week of March. We go back to the same RV resort every year (Rincon Country RV resort).
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Old 10-31-2015, 07:31 AM   #7
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Mid March about anywhere in FL. does get busy. You'll be bumping into the early arriving "spring break" crowd that's gone by mid April. Other than that. if you're looking to avoid crowded and commercial (and expensive to a certain extent), and don't mind a morning frost that's gone by mid morning, you might look along the Gulf north of Tampa. Reminds us of northern Mi with a few palm trees thrown in. Don't think you'll have a lot of trouble finding places to hike and bike.

If you're moving around, watch your Friday and Saturday night reservations. You'll be competing with other snowbirds, as well as locals that enjoy camping in the cooler months. Together it can get busy in more populous areas. Locals will often spot their rigs a day or 2 early in the more popular parks.

Many heading south in freezing weather will just carry water with them for drinking and rinsing the stool for the first day or so. A couple of 5 gal. jugs should be plenty?
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Old 10-31-2015, 09:11 AM   #8
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You will enjoy either of those places.
Just strap a snow shovel on the front of your Motorhome and when people start asking what that is you are far enough south.
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Old 10-31-2015, 09:30 AM   #9
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Madison WI to Miami, Fl 1600 mi
Madison to McAllen, TX 1500 mi
Madison to Tucson 1700 mi

Looks to me like you could do any one of them for about the same drive. The question to me is more about what kind of country I want to be in when I get there. Deserts and swamps are not that appealing but I can stand them for a while. Have not been to the LRGV. I'd be inclined to do one a year and hit some of the in between spots as part of the loop. Then you can pick a favorite or rinse and repeat... ;-)
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Old 10-31-2015, 09:42 AM   #10
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We have done them all over the years and I kinda prefer Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. We will do Florida again this Winter due to family that live there, but I would rather not.

Last Winter we went from Oklahoma City to Carlsbad, NM, to Los Cruses to Tuscon, to Phoenix to Williams AZ, to St. Louis and then home.

In OKC we usually stop and unwinterize the coach for a few days. Carlsbad was great for the Caverns if you have not seen them. Los Cruses was nice with day trips to Alamogordo and White Sands, Tuscon was my favorite with side trips to Tombstone and the Pima Air and Space Museum. Phoenix was just a big city with lots of traffic. Williams was nice and is the Gateway to the Grand Canyon. St Louis was to visit family and eat BBQ.

There is so much more to do and see that we hate to park very long. We had very little trouble finding CGs by just calling ahead a day or two.

If you want to just go and park, go ahead, but you miss a lot.
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:21 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone for all the suggestions and opinions.

We don't want to go and park for very long in one location. Since just about everywhere is new to us, we think a week or two in one area is long enough, then time to move on.

Maybe this year the south west would be good for us. It seems like most everyone likes the Tucson area.

Safe and happy travels to you all!

Dave and Kathy
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:54 AM   #12
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We liked Tuscan a lot. Along with what I mentioned there are several parks to explore. We stayed at the KOA in Tuscon and it was very nice with a fruit tree in every site and Lazy Days right next door.

Do not miss the Pima Air and Space Museum and Davis Monthon Air Force Base tour.

Pima Air & Space Museum : Tucson, Arizona
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Old 10-31-2015, 02:05 PM   #13
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First, snowbirders don't normally stay in motels the first nights. Wait for a clear day when the roads are clear and drive a couple long days. In the meantime, just bring along some jugs of water for flushing the toilet and other minimal use. Do without a shower for a couple days. You're not going to be sweating! Stop enroute for your big meal and have sandwich fixings handy for your evening.

Trying out different places for a couple weeks is the ideal way to go for first-timers. You'll find neat places that you wouldn't even consider otherwise.

We're partial, but we love Arizona for the winter months. The state parks are great along with some nice county parks such as in the greater Phoenix area - the Maricopa County parks. Beautiful lush big sites with nice hiking and lots to do around the area. However, they're in demand so you'd have to make reservations.

Other areas in Arizona for winter would be Tucson, Benson, Yuma and Havasu City. Phoenix would be the main line for winter. Any higher on the map and it will be too cold. We tried southern New Mexico but found even in the southern part it's too cold and windy for us.

For Texas we enjoyed the Rockport area and definitely did not like the far south 'Rio Grande Valley' area - too crowded and the parks were huge. We like more natural areas around us. Likewise, we've tried Florida a few times but again, too crowded. Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores, Alabama is a nice park and snowbirders can stay the whole winter there which is unusual for a state park. It's a great area with good food and lots to do. The park has big sites and is close to the beach. It's a great area for riding bikes.

So..there are choices. We love Arizona but that's just us....that's why it's best to try different states and areas within the state.
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Old 10-31-2015, 03:36 PM   #14
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There are a lot of your neighbors in the RGV! There are many parks for under $400 a month.
I drive a minimums of 2500 miles back and forth 3 to 6 weeks, enjoy the trip! We spend 2 weeks in ABQ volunteering at the Balloon Fiesta for the last 6 years.

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